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Teenage dream: Alfie Devine (left) scored on his debut as Tottenham's youngest ever player


Marine thankful for Mourinho ‘respect’ despite FA Cup exit

CROSBY, United Kingdom, Jan 10Marine manager Neil Young thanked Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho for naming a strong side despite a 5-0 demolition of the eighth-tier side in the FA Cup third round on Sunday as Carlos Vinicius grabbed a first-half hat-trick.

The 168 league places between the sides is the biggest gap between opponents the 150 years of the FA Cup and the gulf in class showed as Spurs’ fringe players took their chance to shine.

No fans were allowed into the due to coronavirus restrictions, but plenty watched on from gardens in the houses backing onto the 3,185-capacity Rossett Park.

And Marine did not miss out on their big pay day as 30,000 fans bought virtual tickets to support a side whose season has been curtailed due to the pandemic.

“I’ve got to give credit to Jose Mourinho and his team, they showed us a lot of respect,” said Young.

“In the end we were laughing at who was coming off the bench. I can’t ask any more of our lads, you’re playing against world class footballers who make it look easy. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved.

“The football community and in particular the Tottenham Hotspur supporters have been incredible. Many non-league clubs are struggling so this for us is nice.”

Far from the luxury of the £1 billion ($1.3 billion) Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mourinho’s men had to get changed in a function room due to social-distancing guidelines.

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Supporters watched on from their gardens with Marine’s Rossett Park closed due to coronavirus restrictions © AFP / Paul ELLIS

The home side missed out on facing England captain Harry Kane as he did not travel, while Mourinho left Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale on the bench.

Spurs still fielded a strong side featuring Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Lucas Moura, while Kane’s replacement Vinicius made his case for more game time in a busy few months ahead with Tottenham still involved in four competitions.

“I think the boys were professionals and didn’t stop until the game was over in terms of result,” said Mourinho.

“The attitude was positive and that means a lot for me and also for the competition and to Marine’s guys, because they felt we played seriously.”

Marine were inches away from a stunning lead when Neil Kengni’s long-range strike caught Joe Hart out and came off the bar.

Vinicius quickly restored order with two simple finishes from close range before Lucas’s fine free-kick made it 3-0.

The on-loan Benfica striker then completed a 37-minute hat-trick with the goal of the game as his subtle lob dropped into the far corner.

Mourinho introduced 16-year-old Alfie Devine at half-time and Tottenham’s youngest ever player had a debut to remember as he fired in at the near post to make it 5-0.

Bale was then brought on for the final 25 minutes to aid his return to match fitness, but the four-time Champions League winner could not add to the scoreline as Spurs cruised into the fourth round.

Again due to Covid protocols, players were not allowed to swap shirts after the game. However, Spurs said the Marine squad had been provided with an unworn set of shirts as a souvenir from the David versus Goliath clash in unusual circumstances.

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